Wharton MBA Coronavirus FAQs

As we adjust to the changes of moving to a virtual campus for the rest of the semester, we know that you have questions. Please visit Penn’s Coronavirus and Wharton’s Coronavirus websites for up-to-date information and resources.

Additionally, Wharton MBA students are encouraged to watch for new announcements posted in MyWharton/Coronavirus as well as updates to this FAQ.  Please feel free to post questions and comments to the MyWharton/Coronavirus > Discussion tab.

Health and Wellness

What if I am sick and/or suspect I have coronavirus?

Call Student Health Services at 215-746-3535 for a medical consultation. You will be advised how to proceed as a part of that consultation.

Refer to Penn’s Wellness/COVID-19 website for additional information.

What if I'm not sick, but am worried about exposure to coronavirus, relatives and others?

Refer to Penn’s Wellness/COVID-19 website for information.

Are there any changes to student health insurance?

The Penn Student Insurance Plan is offering a special enrollment period for uninsured Penn students and their dependents. This special enrollment period opened on April 13 and will remain open until April 30, with coverage provided for 4/1/2020 – 7/31/2020 at a reduced rate of $1,195 for a student, spouse or child (and $2,390 for two or more children). To enroll or ask any additional questions, please contact Deborah Olson at OlsonD3@aetna.com.

Can my health insurance be extended?

All graduate and professional students who are graduating in May or August of this year will be eligible to remain on the Penn Student Insurance Plan through December 2020. We are currently working with Aetna (our health insurance provider) and state regulators to finalize the details, which we will share as soon as they are available in an email, on the Graduate Student Center website, and via the Vice Provost for Education’s newsletter.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

How can I contact CAPS?

While the CAPS office is temporarily closed, our clinicians are available through:

  • Telehealth > M-F 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • A clinical presence at Student Health > M-F 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Available by phone 24/7; Dial 215-898-7021

Additional Sources of Support

Are there additional support resources?

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

  • Call 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the front desk or press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7
  • Drop in to Student Health (3535 Market St.) to meet with a counselor (M-F 9:30 AM-4:30 PM)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Crisis Text Line

Trevor Project

 

International Students

How do I connect with ISSS?

ISSS advisors are still working to respond to students’ immigration-related questions and concerns. Students are encouraged to review the ISSS COVID-19 FAQ and have the option to make a virtual appointment with an ISSS advisor.

We strongly encourage you to contact your ISSS advisor.

MBA Program Advising and Support

How can I communicate with my academic advisor?

All Academic Advisors will still have appointment availability by phone. Please schedule appointments using the online system as you would normally.

We will not have formal “walk-in” hours for academic advising. If you have quick questions, please communicate via one of the following methods:

  • If you have a question regarding a private or personal matter, please email mbaprogram@wharton.upenn.edu .
  • If you have a general question that may apply to other students, as well, please post the question in MyWharton using the MBA Academics and Coronavirus topics. Academic Advisors will be monitoring the platform between the hours of 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday through Friday.
  • Questions for our front desk staff, Cindy and Kacie, should be conducted primarily through email. Contact: mbaprogram@wharton.upenn.edu, armour@wharton.upenn.edu , or kacieh@wharton.upenn.edu.

The MBA Academics team will remain available and provide our full support  to students throughout the semester. We appreciate your patience and flexibility during these unforeseen circumstances, and we are working hard to ensure that you all can continue making progress towards your academic goals.

How can I communicate with MBA student life?

The Office of Student Life will continue to use MyWharton as our primary communication channel with periodic emails as necessary.  We will provide updates in the Class and Cluster Groups.  To receive notifications when OSL posts content, please follow the “MBA Student Life” topic.

Effective immediately, all advising appointments will be virtual using BlueJeans (https://support.wharton.upenn.edu/help/virtual-meetings).  Please use the appointment scheduler to set up an appointment.

Use any of these methods to contact the Office of Student Life:

  • Via MyWharton –Staff will be available on the platform Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm EST
    • Post your question or comment.  You can do this on Group Pages or Topic Pages – anywhere you see the “Share an update…” box.  Add the MBA Help and Student Life topics so we know the content is for our office.
  • Mention us in a post or send us a direct message.  If you have a specific person in OSL you want to contact use @person’s name to alert us to your post.  Or, if it something you rather communicate 1-1, go to My Messages in your Profile dropdown to send a direct/private message.
  • Call our office at 215-898-9521
  • Email us at MBAstudentlife@wharton.upenn.edu

How can I communicate with MBA Career Management?

The MBA Career Management Office will continue to use MyWharton as our primary communication channel for MBACM information, recruiting resources and advice.  We will provide updates in the Class and MBA Career groups.

  • Class Groups: General recruiting resources, events and deadlines (not industry-specific).
  • MBA Career Groups: Industry-specific recruiting information and advice from MBACM industry teams.

We will also continue to provide Weekly Career Alerts.  These industry-specific career alerts are sent out weekly on Fridays, based on your subscription preferences in CareerPath.

Ways to contact MBACM

  • Post questions in MyWharton:
    • General career-related questions can be posted in MyWharton using the #CareersAndIndustries and #MBAHelp topics. Please note, there is also a #Coronavirus topic, if relevant.
    • Industry-specific questions can be posted in MyWharton MBA Career Groups, which are monitored by industry advisors and relationship managers.
    • MBACM staff monitor the platform Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm EST.
  • Call our main office line at 215-898-4383.
  • For industry-specific questions, you can also contact the industry advisor

Virtual Career Advising

  • Advising Appointments: Effective March 16, all advising appointments will be virtual. Career advisors are available to connect by phone or Blue Jeans for individual appointments. Sign up for virtual advising through CareerPath.
  • Office Hours: We have a virtual process in place for office hours. They will follow the same schedule (posted here), but will be done by phone instead of in-person.
    • Students can sign up on a first come, first served basis by calling 215-898-8683 or emailing mbacareers@wharton.upenn.edu (include the industry, advisor’s name and your phone number)
    • Students may sign up 1 hour prior to the start of the office hour
    • Up to 5 students can be seen during an office hour block. Any additional requests will be noted for the advisor to reach out separately via email or phone as time allows.
  • Career Fellow Mock Interviews: All mock interviews will take place virtually by phone, Skype or other web-based platform. Students may sign up here for appointments taking place through March 27.

How do I connect with my Advising Support Network team of advisors?

The Advising Support Network (your cluster-specific team of advisors from Academic Affairs, Career Management, McNulty Leadership Program, and Student Life) will be reaching out to you in your MyWharton Cluster Group. The ASN teams want to stay connected to the Lions, Dragons, Bees, and Tigers, to provide support and direct you to helpful resources.

Academics

Are academic deadlines changing for the semester?

Due to the delayed start of courses post spring break, some deadlines have changed. Revised academic deadlines for the semester are as follows:

  • Last day to add Q4 courses is now March 26, 2020
  • Advance registration for Fall 2020 Penn courses is now April 14 – April 24
  • Last day to add MGMT799 is March 31, 2020
  • Last day to change grading status is now April 29, 2020
  • Last day to drop Q4 and full semester courses is now April 13, 2020

How will courses be graded?

For Q4 and Full Semester courses (incl. MKTG 613) in Spring 2020, we will not enforce an upper limit for the MBA Grade Point Average.  

For Q4 and Full Semester courses (incl. MKTG 613) in Spring 2020, faculty will not assign LT indicators. Academic performance standards, however, will be enforced.

Pass/Fail option: You may choose to designate any MBA course as Pass/Fail in Spring 2020. The grading status of Q3 courses cannot be changed retroactively. You must “opt-in” to this expanded option by going to Course Match and checking the box next to the course to select Pass/Fail grading status. 

  • There is no limit on how many MBA courses you can designate as Pass/Fail this semester; the typical 1 CU limit does not apply. However, you cannot change the grading status of a course that has already concluded, such as Quarter 3 courses. All Quarter 3 courses have concluded even though not all grades have been assigned.
  • The deadline to make the selection is April 13, 11:59 pm, except for MKTG 613. The deadline to change the grading status for MKTG613 is March 26, 11:59 pm. Your choice will be final after the deadline has passed.
  •  We have a few MBA courses for which Course Match will not allow you to make the selection; those are courses for which you were registered outside of Course Match. In those cases, please email the same contact or person who registered you for the course if you want to change the grading status.
    • Example: Many of you are taking MGMT 799 in Q4. The default is to take the course for a letter grade. If you want to change the grading status, please email mbaprogram@wharton.upenn.edu.
  •  Core courses are also included in the expanded Pass/Fail Option. Assuming you designate a core course Pass/Fail and you pass the course, then you will complete the graduation requirement for that subject, as well as the core requirement for a major associated with that course.
    • Example: If you take FNCE 611 this semester and pass the course, then you will have completed the graduation requirement for Corporate Finance and you will be able to obtain a Finance major.
  •  All MBA majors are included in the expanded Pass/Fail Option. All MBA major electives taken on a Pass/Fail basis can be counted towards the respective major, in addition to the standard Pass/Fail limits.
    • Example: You are taking LGST 813 this semester and are planning to count that course towards the Entrepreneurship and Innovation major. You can designate LGST 813 as Pass/Fail even if you have already reached the typical limit of a 1 CU Pass/Fail. This also does not prevent you from applying 1 CU of Pass/Fail courses to your major in your second year, if your major allows it.
  •  International students, there are no plans to change the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes for our existing MBA majors. As before, you may be eligible to obtain a STEM OPT extension assuming you complete a major with a CIP code on the STEM designated program list, even with the expanded Pass/Fail Option.
  •  This Pass/Fail option does not supersede the requirements of programs outside of the Wharton MBA Program. If you want to apply MBA course credit towards a non-MBA degree, that program might still ask you to complete the course based on a letter grade.
    • Example: You are in a dual degree program with another school, and the other school asks you to take certain MBA courses for a letter grade.
    • Per communication from the Lauder administration, joint Wharton-Lauder credits can be taken on a Pass/Fail basis this semester.
  •  We are still working through the impact of these changes on Directors’ List, Honors, Palmer Scholars, etc. We will provide more information shortly

What can I do to prepare for working and learning remotely?

Remote courses will utilize a range of techniques and structures, but will largely use BlueJeans virtual meeting technology for delivery purposes. Wharton Computing recommends that you go to meetings.wharton.upenn.edu on the device you plan to use for your Wharton classes (desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device with internet access) and log in with your PennKey to activate your Virtual Meetings account.

You can find more information and tips for attending classes and doing class work remotely in this Wharton Computing article.

Please contact Wharton Computing’s Student Computing team for help with any technology issue or questions. To open a support ticket or initiate a live chat with their tech reps visit: computing.wharton.upenn.edu

What if I have trouble adjusting to learning online or need special accommodations?

Weingarten Learning Resources Center services are available to all Penn students. Please reach out to to the center  to find the resources you need to to be successful this semester: +1.215.573.9235 or vpul-lrcmail@pobox.upenn.edu. Disability-related inquiries can be directed to vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu.

Can I register for a course if there is a time conflict?

You may not register for more than one class in a designated class period, even if online courses are asynchronous. MGMT799 is the only exception.

Student Life

Is Graduation cancelled?

In lieu of a traditional, in-person ceremony, the Wharton School will salute the Class of 2020 with 30-minute virtual celebrations. We welcome all graduates, their families, and friends to watch their respective programs on Sunday, May 17 starting at 1 p.m. ET.

Additional details are available in the “Graduation” section below.

Please see Wharton Graduation 2020 for updates.

What is happening with events?

All in-person events have either been cancelled or will be held virtually.  If you have questions about a specific event, please contact the event organizer.  We encourage students and clubs to continue to find ways to come together and connect, albeit virtually.  If you are holding an event or considering holding an event, please feel free to contact the Office of Student Life for assistance with engagement strategy and promotion.

How can we stay engaged as a community this semester?

We recognize that it is a struggle to come together as a community when we cannot be together.  The Office of Student Life is committed to finding new and creative ways to bring us together and continue to strengthen the bonds that hold us together as community.  Stay tuned for announcements and virtual opportunities throughout the semester.

MBA Career Management

Where can I find up-to-date information on MBACM services & support related to COVID-19?

For general information on MBACM operations and student support services during COVID-19, see this MyWharton support article.

For students who are actively recruiting, please refer to the MBACM1:1 resources page in MAP.

What is MBACM1:1?

In light of COVID-19 and its impact on the job market, we launched the MBACM1:1 initiative to align advisors with seeking students for personalized recruiting plans to identify job and project opportunities through customized recommendations and tailored advice on things like how to position your candidacy and how to negotiate your compensation. For students actively seeking an opportunity, an advisor will reach out via email to offer resources and support on strategy and next steps.

MBACM1:1 – How does MBACM identify which students are actively seeking?

We use the following information to determine who is still seeking and may need our support:

  • Student has reported their job search status in CareerPath as “Seeking Internship” or “Seeking Employment”
  • Student is currently in the Spring Resume Book and has NOT reported a job offer in CareerPath
  • An advisor is already aware of the student’s situation through recent advising calls or email conversations

MBACM1:1 – Do I need to wait for an advisor to contact me?

Not at all! While our goal was to contact all seeking students by mid-May, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with your advisor of choice at any point in CareerPath.

If you are currently seeking a job opportunity and have not yet heard from an advisor, our information about your job search status may be inaccurate or outdated. Please email us at mbacareers@wharton.upenn.edu with the industries and functions you are targeting and we will help connect you with an advisor.

Does advising continue through the summer?

We are extending advising appointments and office hours through July 17th for both classes. At that point, we will start transitioning WG’20 graduates to our alumni advising team, which provides lifelong career support to our alumni community. This transition is necessary to allow our student advising team to shift support to the incoming WG’22 class. Regular advising for returning WG’21 students will resume in Q1; however, students can contact advisors directly throughout the summer if there is a time-sensitive need.

How can I connect with a career advisor?

Career advisors are available to connect via phone or BlueJeans for individual appointments. Sign up for virtual advising through CareerPath.

Will advisors have office hours?

Office Hours will follow the same schedule, but will be conducted by phone. The process is as follows:

  • Students can sign up on a first come, first served basis by calling 215-898-8683 or emailing mbacareers@wharton.upenn.edu (include the industry, advisor’s name and your phone number).
  • Students may sign up 1 hour prior to the start of the office hour.
  • Up to 5 students can be seen during an office hour block. Any additional requests will be noted for the advisor to reach out separately via email or phone as time allows.

Can I still schedule mock interviews with Career Fellows?

Mock interviews with Career Fellows ended on March 27, however advisors are available for virtual mocks. Sign up for a regular advising appointment through CareerPath, and indicate this in the notes field.

Can I book a room in OCRS for a virtual interview?

McNeil / OCRS is not accessible to students or non-essential staff at this time.

Are MBACM workshops and employer events being cancelled?

All MBACM events (alumni panels, workshops) have moved to virtual formats. Where possible, MBACM events will be recorded and shared on MAP and relevant MyWharton Career Groups.

As we plan for the Fall recruiting season, we are evaluating alternative formats for employer events (Employer Info Sessions, Lunch & Learns). Registered students will be notified of any changes or cancellations. The most up-to-date information for each event can be found in both CareerPath and the MyWharton calendar.

Is this impacting Career Fellow selection and hiring?

MBACM extended the deadline to apply for CF positions to March 27. If you missed the deadline, please contact Sue Valerio-Sladen at avsladen@wharton.upenn.edu.

Will this impact companies' hiring plans or student job opportunities?

Our Employer Engagement team is in close contact with employers across industries, and checking in regularly, to stay on the pulse of how COVID-19 may be affecting current or future hiring plans, as well as recruiting activities already in process. Please refer to MyWharton (MBA Career Groups) for periodic updates from industry teams. This outreach effort is ongoing.

We will continue to prioritize business development efforts to ensure a strong pipeline of opportunities for both first- and second-year students throughout the spring.

Could this impact my (confirmed) internship / full-time job?

Our Employer Engagement team is in close contact with employers across industries, and checking in regularly, to stay on the pulse of how COVID-19 may be affecting current or future hiring plans, as well as recruiting activities already in process. Please refer to MyWharton (MBA Career Groups) for periodic updates from industry teams, or contact the industry team directly for latest information (Relationship Manager or Advisor).

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, companies are assessing whether to delay start dates and/or transition their internships and onboarding processes to virtual formats. Employers are communicating any changes directly to students affected, and MBACM industry teams are also sharing updates through industry-specific MyWharton Career Groups.

Can I still travel for interviews or networking meetings in locations where businesses are running as usual?

For cities that are not currently under a shelter-in-place directive, students are strongly advised to limit in-person recruiting activities, including in-person interviews and networking events, particularly where travel is required. Please work directly with employers to move any in-person meetings to virtual or phone-based meetings. Employers should be accommodating and understanding about such requests during this time. If you need guidance, the MBACM industry advisor or relationship manager can help you navigate this process.

Can I visit a partner school's career office?

Unfortunately, the partner school reciprocity program is suspended at this time.

Campus/Operations

Will Huntsman Hall and other Wharton buildings be closed to students?

Yes, Wharton buildings will be closed to students and visitors for the remainder of the semester.

Will I be able to access library resources?

COVID-19: Libraries Policies and Information provides the most up-to-date information that covers all Penn Libraries. Specific to Lippincott Library:

  • Research Services – Lippincott librarians will be working remotely. You can contact them via the Ask a Question form on the Lippincott Library homepage. For live help, make an appointment or chat, also available from the Lippincott homepage.
  • Collections – While most of our collections are available in digital format, because the library is physically closed, there are resources including Bloomberg and Morningstar Direct, that are not currently accessible. Lippincott librarians are actively working with vendors on alternative access options. The Penn Libraries physical collections will be unavailable until further notice.
  • DocDel@Wharton – The librarians will continue retrieving and delivering journal articles and chapters available through our digital subscriptions. With the building closed, they are unable to scan materials from their print collection and can’t reliably obtain materials from institutional partners.  Due dates will be extended for books from institutional partners that are currently due before the end of the semester. Please email docdel@wharton.upenn.edu to extend due dates.

If you have questions, please reach out to me or any of the Lippincott librarians. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Will the Weingarten Center be available for the rest of the semester?

The Weingarten Center staff is working remotely but will continue to support students by providing academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) through virtual platforms and by overseeing implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities. Please do not hesitate to contact the Weingarten Center at +1.215.573.9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Will the Writing Center be available for the rest of the semester?

The Marks Family Writing Center will be providing one-on-one online writing consultations for undergraduates across the four schools beginning Monday, March 23, at 9 a.m.. They will have over 50 well-trained undergraduate peer tutors providing 200+ hours of tutoring per week. Students can schedule an appointment here.  Appointments will be limited to one 45-minute session per week.

Students having issues accessing the online hours, should reach out to Dr. Stacy Kastner, Associate Director of the Writing Center.

Financial Aid and Funding

How can I speak to someone about my financial aid?

The Office of Financial Aid continues to support students remotely throughout the remainder of the semester. Please send all inquiries to financialaid@wharton.upenn.edu. Current students can also schedule a call with a member of the team by using the Financial Aid Appointment Scheduler.

Will my financial aid be impacted by a transition to online instruction?

At this time, the move to online learning will not change your existing financial aid package for the spring 2020 semester.

Are there emergency funds available for current students?

Students faced with a financial emergency can apply for the Emergency Funding here. Emergency or Opportunity Grants can range from $100 to $1,000 and can be used for demonstrated needs such as: academic technology/course materials; winter or professional clothing; medical expenses; academic advancement (such as graduate school exam fees); or personal/family emergencies.

Is there additional funding available for graduate students?

Through a generous partnership with GAPSA, we have established the GAPSA-Provost COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support full- and part-time graduate and professional students who have incurred unexpected expenses directly related to the COVID-19 disruptions of this semester, including moving expenses, travel, insurance, covering multiple rents, and other urgent needs as appropriate. The application for these funds will be open April 24-May 15; more information will be available on the Graduate Student Center website.

I receive VA benefits to support my educational costs. Will the University’s transition to online education impact my receipt of those benefits?

VA benefit payments, including the Monthly Housing Allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, will remain unchanged for the remainder of the spring semester.

How can I take advantage of the new federal interest rates?

On March 13, 2020, the federal government cut interest rates on federal student loans. For more information on how this might affect your federal loans, please refer to the Federal Student Loans website.

Can I request a budget or a loan increase?

Some students may be eligible for a budget increase. To request a budget increase, complete the Graduate and Professional Student Application for Educational Budget Adjustment form by April 24, 2020. Complete forms should be uploaded through the Online Document Submission Portal.

Students who have existing loans under the current cost of attendance may request a loan increase by contacting their lender. The deadline to complete this request is April 20, 2020.

Are there additional summer programs available?

The University is developing teaching, professional development, and other competitive opportunities to enable graduate and professional students not only to continue to advance your skills and build your resumes but also to earn additional summer funding. We have robust summer programs for incoming first-year undergraduates and Philadelphia high school students that will be delivered online this summer and will have roles for graduate student mentors, TAs and/or instructors. If you are interested in being considered for these programs, please fill out the form provided by the Vice Provost for Education.

Graduation

When is the Wharton virtual celebration?

The virtual celebration will take place on Sunday, May 17th, at 1:00 PM EST. The celebration will live on the graduation website for some time, for those in different time zones, or if you would like to watch it again.

What does the virtual celebration look like?

The virtual celebration will be 20- 30 minutes in length. You will hear from Dean Garrett, Vice Dean Howie and a host of others.

Who can stream the celebration?

Anyone with the URL can stream the celebration.

Will we have an in-person celebration?

Yes, the University is planning to host a live ceremony to celebrate you. The goal of the University is for some time in Spring 2021.

How do we get our cap & gown (regalia), I heard that it comes from our fees?

Wharton purchases regalia on behalf of its MBA students in accordance with the ceremony. At this time, the plan is for regalia to be provided for the class of 2020’s in-person ceremony, a date to be determined by the University.

What if we are a Palmer Scholar? We usually find out at Graduation who has received this award.

We are putting together an online brochure that will go live at the same time as the virtual celebration. In the brochure, we will be announcing departmental and academic awards.

What will the in-person ceremony look like?

We will do our best to preserve the traditional elements of graduation. Those details will be communicated when they are finalized.

How will students receive their diplomas?

There is a section in the Graduation Checklist, please complete the checklist.

Can graduates indicate (on resumes, etc.) that they are a Wharton graduate, class of 2020?

Yes, as long as you have completed all of your degree requirements expected of you.